Process of Creating a Personal Statement for University or College | 5 Useful Tips

Students applying for college with impressive GPAs and standardized test scores should be reminded that the outstanding academic qualifications are not enough to get them into their dream universities. This is especially true for top colleges where high grades and test scores are normal, and competition among top candidates is cut-throat. A college like Stanford only admits 4% of applicants, meaning that most qualified applications don’t make the cut. 

In such situations where competition for limited spaces is fierce, creating a personal statement can boost your chances and make you stand out from the crowd. In this context, personal statements support candidates’ applications and articulate their reasons for choosing the institutions. A well-written statement highlights your attributes, skills, and experiences that demonstrate your passion for the preferred field. 

Given the importance of the personal statement, most students find it challenging to write. This article summarizes five useful tips for creating an impeccable personal statement. Read on to find out how to ace your college application. 

Understand What to Include in Your Statement 

The most important aspect of writing an exceptional personal statement is knowing the subject to write about. In this document, you will be writing about yourself. The statement is an applicant’s chance to tell the admissions staff about your suitability to study at a specific college or university. 

When drafting your application documents, it is crucial to note that you can only have one personal statement for all your applications. This means that you should avoid referring to specific colleges by name in your statement. 

If you have picked similar subjects in your applications, talk about the subjects in general, rather than referring to specific titles of courses. On the other hand, if you have selected different programs in the various applications, you can discuss common themes in your statement. Some themes to consider for your application include problem-solving skills and creativity. 

Start preparing by brainstorming for ideas. Also, follow the following insights:

  • Explore course descriptions and consider those skills and attributes required;
  • Inform your readers about your reasons for submitting the college application;
  • Consider those elements that make you suitable;
  • Talk about societies, clubs, or teams you belong to;
  • If you have experience being employed or volunteering, remember to mention it. 

The statement is also the place to talk about personal circumstances that may have shaped your educational journey and goals. Talk about how the events shaped your program choices. For instance, if you have faced financial challenges that influenced your education, talk about it. 

Plan What You Wish to Cover

As with any other project, you need to plan what to write before working on the statement. Even the best writers understand that creating exceptional papers without planning is frustrating. You may end up making mistakes or leaving out important details. To ensure that you create a memorable document, begin by creating some notes in preparation. Consider the following elements:

  • What you wish to study when you get to college;
  • Why you have chosen the specific field;
  • The attributes that make you suited for the academic program;
  • Any other skills or interests you possess. 

As you list down these important elements that will form your outline, understand that the goal is to convince the university that you deserve a chance. You don’t have to create all the notes in one sitting. You could consider carrying a notebook with you to write down ideas as they come to you. If you need assistance, consider working with a professional MBA essay editing service online. 

Highlight Your Experience 

It is important to reiterate that there is no space in a personal statement to brag about your grades and academic qualifications. In any case, there are other areas of your application that already contain this information. 

So rather than wasting valuable space showing off your impressive grades, focus on what admissions officials actually want to read. Even if you have good grades, you must understand that thousands of other applicants have similarly great credentials. In your statement, talk about what makes you different in terms of experience. 

Talk about any experience you already have concerning your preferred program. In some cases, this may also include your work experience. Work experience is even more important if you apply for a vocational program, such as journalism or medicine. 

Please note that college officials understand that getting lucrative work experience may be easier for some students than others. So, when considering the kind of experience to include in your personal statement, you may need to cast the net wider. For instance, you could talk about any club memberships you have had as well as volunteer positions. Remember, your experience should relate to your decision to study a specific subject. 

When talking about your experience, talk about the lessons you have learned in the process and the skills gained. Although there are certain buzzwords that colleges look for when exploring statements, you can ace your application without creating a generic document. Be creative but concise when writing your personal statement. The most important thing is to outline the lessons learned rather than bragging about accomplishments. Also, don’t lie in your personal statement. Instead, keep your achievements bold and accurate. 

Start with an Interesting Introduction 

How does one begin a personal statement for college? This is common dilemma college applicants face when it comes to completing their applications. Statements that open with intrigue are thousand times more interesting. Remember, your audience will have tons of other applications to review and may skip over statements they consider boring. You need to interest the admission officials to want to go through the rest of your document. 

To start your personal statement on a high note, begin with a problem that requires solving. Readers tend to be drawn to stories as they try to solve the riddle or problem within. One challenge most students face is stressing about the opening sentence. These individuals have been told that the first initial lines of their papers have to grab their readers’ attention. 

We recommend that you stop overthinking your introduction. In fact, officials are less concerned with your ability to create a fancy opening to your personal statement. Their main area of focus is how clearly and concisely you articulate your points. Your enthusiasm and passion are more critical. 

Avoid overthinking your personal statement introduction since simplicity is more effective. Draw in your readers without resorting to a gimmick. For instance, start with why you chose the program and get to the point as quickly as possible. You could also open your writing with a simple and short sentence indicating your reason for being interested in a field. Remember, the opening of your personal statement is your chance to introduce yourself to the audience. 

Another useful insight is to avoid starting with the introduction. Although the intro is the first paragraph your readers encounter, you should consider drafting it last after you are done with the rest of the statement. If you find the opening line the hardest to write, don’t begin your statement from the start. 

Write Simple Sentences and Edit Your Writing 

Preparation is key when writing personal statements, but you need to start the actual writing as soon as possible. Make sure to stick to the word limit, making your writing simple and concise. As you write, keep your focus on the program you are applying for and why it is the perfect fit for you. 

Also, you need to make time to carefully edit and proofread your personal statement before sending it in. in this sense, editing entails more than just making sure you stick to the word count. You also need to make sure that your writing is doing the job of highlighting your strengths and showing why you are right for the course. 

Go through your draft, ensuring that your work contains short and punchy sentences that communicate your points. Always remember that the personal statement is not an essay. As you finetune your writing, eliminate grammar and typing mistakes. 

Writing exceptional personal statements is an art that requires considerable planning and attention. Start strongly and make your writing simple and clear. Also, focus on your strong points, highlighting why you are an ideal candidate and showing your interest in the program. Most importantly, spend some time revising your statement before you submit your application. 


Sudarsan Chakraborty is a professional writer. He contributes to many high-quality blogs. He loves to write on various topics.